Happy Saturday From ... Home!

There's no place like it

Good to be back and good to see you again! Spring break in Whistler was a blast, and we’re still scheming to squeeze in one more weekend on the slopes before the season ends. But it sure is nice to be home and go back to the movies — and what an incredible week it’s been. Let’s jump in.

Kirsten Dunst is excellent in “Civil War.”

“Civil War” is here, and it inspired one of the biggest disputes Alonso and I have ever had on Breakfast All Day. We both agree on the technical prowess of writer-director Alex Garland’s film, which is set in a violent, near-future America in which several states have seceded and are battling the federal government. But we’re divided — fittingly — on the movie’s ideology, or lack thereof. I’m always really proud that we can have conversations like this in a thoughtful, civilized manner, if you will. And I’m a fan of Garland’s daring brand of stylish, chilling sci-fi in general, particularly 2014’s “Ex Machina.” I’d love to know what you think if you see this.

Love means never having to say you’re sorry.

This one we do agree on: “Challengers,” which doesn’t come out until April 26, but we loved it so much we wanted to review it as early as possible. The latest from director Luca Guadagnino (“Call Me By Your Name,” “Suspiria”) is a twisty, time-hopping love triangle set in the elite tennis world. Zendaya, Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor are all tremendous, and the film moves with a thrilling, propulsive energy. This will definitely end up on both of our top-10 lists at the end of the year.

Also this week:

  • WICKED LITTLE LETTERS. Speaking of civil wars, Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley square off in this delightfully profane comedy. It’s inspired by the true story of the shocking letters that scandalized the British seaside town of Littlehampton after World War I. It’s not exactly a whodunit, but the language and cadence are a hoot. In theaters.

  • THE PEOPLE’S JOKER. This incredibly strange and daring indie comedy follows director, editor, co-writer and star Vera Drew as she navigates her transgender journey through the prism of the Batman world. It’s a wildly original parody with a Tim-and-Eric vibe and unexpected vulnerability. It’s playing now in New York and Los Angeles but expanding to more cities weekly. Check here to see when it’s opening near you.

  • MOVIE NEWS LIVE! We’re back, baby. Alonso and I got together on Friday for our first news livestream in about a month because we’ve both been running around. Lots to discuss including the Cannes Film Festival lineup, new trailers for “MaXXXine” and “Joker: Folie à Deux,” the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” series finale and more. Join us every Friday at Noon Pacific time.

  • BREAKFAST ALL DAY PODCAST. And as always, if you’d like to enjoy our conversations in podcast form, they’re on Apple, Spotify and wherever you find your favorite shows. We’d be honored if you’d leave us a few stars and share a quick review.

The formidable Hiroyuki Sanada in “Shōgun.”

Also this week, we started recapping “Shōgun” on FX on our Breakfast All Day Patreon. We realize we are very late on this! But so many of our subscribers asked us to watch the miniseries and share our thoughts that we knew we had to catch up with it. We’re taking it two episodes at a time, starting with the first couple, which are dense with intrigue and sumptuous in style. We’ll do two every week on Tuesdays, so join us and let us know what you think, too.

This documentary is very much worth eight hours of your time.

Finally this week, O.J. Simpson died at age 76. A defining and divisive cultural figure, Simpson cast a huge shadow over American culture for decades. The slow-speed Bronco chase provided one of those moments when you never forgot where you were (I was at a dive bar in Natchitoches, Louisiana), and his 1995 murder trial simultaneously unified us and exposed the rifts that lurk among us. But before that, Simpson was, of course, a football star, and an actor, and a rental car pitchman. Wesley Morris has a brilliant thinkpiece in The New York Times on all of O.J.’s symbolism and contradictions — articles like this are why he has a Pulitzer, after all. And if you’ve never seen Ezra Edelman’s Oscar-winning documentary “O.J. Made in America,” now is the time. It is very long — nearly eight hours — but worth every moment of your attention, as it gets its arms around so much, so insightfully, about race, celebrity, L.A. history and much more. You can watch it in pieces on Hulu, and then you may be inclined to do what we did the first time we saw the film: Start from the beginning and watch it all over again.

Thank you so much as always for sharing some of your time with me. It’s been so gratifying to see this newsletter grow. So if you’re new here, welcome! And if you’re an old friend, welcome back! If you’ve found value in this, I’d be honored if you’d share my writing with a friend. Have a great week, and I’ll see you back here next Saturday.